Optimizing Children Nutrition through Fish Consumption

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UNAIR NEWS – Towards National Nutrition Day which celebrated on January 25 2019, Department of Nutrition in Universitas Airlangga launched a children’s nutrition development movement through “Fish Consumption Habit for Children” (GEMARI) to Al-Muslim elementary school students, Wadungasri, Sidoarjo, at January 23.

In the event, the students were invited to have breakfast together and brought lunch from their home. Their lunch must be nutritious and use fish as a mandatory side dish.

“Children must be accustomed to eat nutritious foods such as fish,” said Trias Mahmudiono S.KM, MPH (Nutr.), GCAS, Ph.D as Head of GEMARI program.

Trias Mahmudiono S.KM, MPH (Nutr.), GCAS, Ph.D while giving a speech. (Photo: Tunjung Senja Widuri)

Trias revealed that well-balanced nutrition is indeed important for children in supporting their growth process. In addition, nutrition is quite an early investment for children towards a healthy nation. No wonder the food intake consumed by children must be considered.

One of the efforts from Department of Nutrition UNAIR by inviting children to eat fish frequently. According to Triska Susila Nindya, S.KM., MPH (Nutr.) as Nutrition Lecturer at UNAIR said that unlike beef or chicken, fish have high animal protein content but are still low in fat.

The most important thing is animal protein has more complete amino acid content than vegetable protein. Animal protein consists of 9 important amino acids that the body needs. Foods with high protein have a lot of benefits to increase intelligence and immunity and good for children growth.

“Fish also has omega 3 fatty acids that are good for heart,” continued Triska Susila.

It should be underlined, the event was made with pleasant nuances and conducive while the speaker gave the material. There was a storytelling session with a story titled Tendangan Super Lele. The students were required to listen to the story. Then a question and answer session was held containing questions regarding to the story. Students who can answer the question will be rewarded.

One of the students while enjoying their meal brought from home. (Photo: Tunjung Senja Widuri)

One of the students while enjoying their meal brought from home. (Photo: Tunjung Senja Widuri)

GEMARI program became more fun with food photo challenge. The competition was held before the D-day where students are encouraged to take photos of food that has been made and then upload it to social media. They can be creative in decorating food but it required fish as their side dish.

In the end of this event, a petition was signed. There were 3 banners, each of it contains an agreement to eat fish once a day, once a week, and once a month. In there students are required to choose one of the three banners. (*)

Author: Tunjung Senja Widuri

Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh

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